One thing that COVID-19 and imminent lockdowns have taught us, is the importance of an at-home routine.
In a lockdown, we are suddenly forced to slow down. And in a similar vein to that feeling of fatigue we encounter a week into a holiday, we can hit a wall. And layered on top of that, lockdowns certainly are NOT a holiday – especially so if you're doing your best to work from home or raise a family. Despite some elements of your life slowing, many of our household roles seem to amplify.
What is more important than ever in a lockdown, is finding time for you. Time to step back from your role as a parent or caregiver, partner, chef, or at-home worker, and time to take a deep breath.
We've put together a few tips on how to establish a healthy at-home workout routine.
In 2021, there are so many options for movement - especially with the plethora of online workout options that we can access. From fun and powerful barre classes, to dance classes, Pilates, yoga or even at-home spin.
It can be hard to put a finger on what exercise you LOVE, especially when you're first establishing a routine. But first, focus on how you feel. Do you finish the workout feeling both energised, calm, strong, empowered, free?
The first step is to understand that everybody enjoys and requires different things from exercise – and that often shifts with time too! It can be a matter of trial and error but find an exercise that makes you feel good (whether that feeling comes once you've finished, or during!).
Exercise can be challenging both physically and mentally, but that sense of accomplishment and the whirling of positive endorphins usually overrides the feelings of struggle or discomfort – once you find something that works for you.
If you are finding it tough to choose an online exercise class, then consider what you need from a home workout.
Do you feel as though you need to blow off some steam? Slow down? Take a deep breath? Or perhaps all of the above on different days?
Whatever movement you choose, ensures it fills your cup on a mental and emotional level too. Exercise to slow down and retreat away from the demands of life, with mindful exercises.
Find a workout that allows you to identify the stresses of life and to move with them, and to let them go.
Exercising at home can be a challenge, especially if you have family in the other room wanting your attention!
Online workout options that are 20-30 minutes are fantastic, allowing you to integrate movement into your busy day. If time is on your side, you can choose two online workouts, or even choose a strength-based workout, and then a yoga or stretch class to achieve a balanced workout experience.
Looking after your body is key. Although for many of us it can feel enticing to "smash out a workout", especially if we only have a short amount of time, aim to move with intention. Sometimes, slowing things down and taking a more mindful approach to exercise can achieve better results. If you're a cardio-lover, or fiend a strong workout, then GREAT. Me too. But ensure you're covering the bases with slower and more foundational exercises and mobility to keep your body in check week after week.
Diversifying your training is a great way to ensure your exercise is sustainable.
Find an online workout option that is diverse in its offerings – allowing you to tailor your workout to your energy levels or mix and match classes for a bespoke workout experience. A course that focuses equally on strength and mobility is a sure way to cover the bases.
First, create your weekly schedule or to-do list. This can include all of your work and family tasks, chores, a meal plan – or whatever you wish to priortise!
Adding yourself and self-care to your to-do list is vital for your health and wellbeing. Aim to schedule at least 30 minutes a day for yourself and your self-care routine.
If you are the kind of person who needs a disciplined routine, then make a note of your non-negotiable workout time.
One tip to sticking with your at-home workout routine is to prepare for it just like you would if you’re headed to a physical class. Put your workout clothes, shoes, and water bottle all right next to your home office space, or keep it prepared in your room for later. Ensure you have a dedicated space for your workout, even if it's simply the act of rolling out a yoga mat.
Once you are ready to move, make clear to your friends and family that you are off for some 'you-time.'
Make sure that your chosen online workout platform offers flexibility. We all need and feel inspired by different things. Some of us prefer to "show-up" to a workout at a scheduled time, such as a Livestream Zoom workout. And others prefer to move when it suits them (or simply, when they can). A great online workout platform will offer both, ensuring you have the flexibility to be inspired and move in a way that suits your lifestyle best.
The key is to find an on-demand workout option that offers a clear structure for motivation, but is inherently flexible to suit your needs.
A great on-demand exercise class will offer Workout Guides to keep you on track. These should be curated with the client in mind, ensuring the client can tick-off a healthy balance of workouts throughout the week.
A community page is also a helpful way for members to feel part of something bigger. Working out at home can be a little isolating, so staying in regular contact with your online coach and fellow members is a way to ensure that your coach keeps your needs and desires top-of-mind! Community groups also often offer fitness challenges, encouraging clients to hit their goals, with prizes as incentives. Whatever works for you!
All and all, whatever online fitness class you are drawn to, ensure that it ticks these boxes:
If you answer YES to these key fundamentals, then you are on the right track.